Clipboard. Pinterest. Erly. Justin TV. Canvas. Turntable. Airbnb. AddThis Indeed: Clearspring Raises $20 Million As It Rides Social Sharing Boom. The name Clearspring Technologies may not be terribly familiar to you, but chances are you’ve often clicked on or at least come across its AddThis buttons, which are plastered on publisher sites Web-wide. The U.S. -based social sharing platform company this morning announced that it has raised a whopping $20 million in a Series D round of funding led by Institutional Venture Partners, with existing backers such as NEA and Novak Biddle Venture Partners participating.
The extra capital injection brings total funding raised by Clearspring to $58 million. The investment comes as the company, which was founded in 2008, is experiencing rapid growth; Clearspring says it is hiring a new employee almost every week. The company’s AddThis sharing tool is currently deployed on 9 million websites worldwide, Clearspring says, enabling users to share content with others through more than 300 social networking services in 70 languages.
Socialcam’s ‘Instagram for Video’ Is Now On The Web, Too. Socialcam, the video sharing app that was created by Justin.tv, is quickly fleshing out its feature set. The app — which is a lot like an ‘Instagram for video’, minus the effects filters — launched just in time for SXSW and had 250,000 downloads in its first month (the total download number is significantly higher than that, though they aren’t releasing figures until they reach their next ‘big’ milestone). A few weeks ago the company launched a 2.0 release that streamlined the video upload process, and today it’s adding another key feature: a web version of Socialcam.
Now, in a sense Socialcam has had a website since it launched — every time you shared a Socialcam video via email or Twitter, you sent out a link to a landing page with your video embedded. You could retweet or share that page on Facebook, but that was it. Qwiki iPad App Hits 250K Downloads In 11 Days. TechCrunch Disrupt winner Qwiki launched its iPad app in the App Store a less than a week ago and after 11 days has hit the quarter of a million downloads milestone. This is notable for an iPad app, especially when compared to other highly publicized iOS app milestones; It took iPhone app Instagram six days to hit 100K, SoundTracking two weeks to hit 250K and FourSquare a whopping seven months to get to 60K users. Qwiki PR rep CeCe Cheng tells me that Qwiki.com has “millions of users” but that the Qwiki app, which lets users see notable Qwikis around them in map format, has already eclipsed pageview traffic on the Qwiki site by 5x.
She estimates that by the end of the day tomorrow the app will hit 300K users after only two weeks. Individual user sessions on the app are averaging 24 minutes. Says founder Doug Imbruce, “The Qwiki experience was made for the iPad – an intimate, entertaining, (sexy!) Xydo. A new social network launched today around the sharing and engagement of news. XYDO takes the social graph and turns it into a network of news that is automatically curated through users Twitter and Facebook streams.
Think Digg and Reddit, add social news feeds automatically and you have XYDO. Digg and Reddit were two of the quintessential wave of Web 2.0 companies. They aggregated news thought user submission, allowed people to vote articles up or down and built large communities of engagement. XYDO is not that much different but adds the layer of the social graph, making its user base much wider. In its private beta it had around 7,000 users whose social graphs extended to 1.1 million people, giving XYDO an incredible reach of content.
XYDO is a smart step in the evolution of curated news on the Web. One of the problems that XYDO will have is that it is fundamentally battling the very networks it curates from. Developing The Platform. Podio Is Like A Yammer With Its Own App Store And App Builder. Like a souped up Yammer with its own App store attached, Danish online workspace Podio launches to the public today after two years of being in beta. In the same space as Box.net and 37Signals, Podio aims to be a complete work platform for enterprise — sort of like all inclusive web-based Intranet for companies. Founded by Anders Pollas, Jon Froda and Kasper Hultin, the Danish startup took up Tommy Ahlers (who is best known for selling ZYB to Vodafone in 2008) as a CEO and investor in August, all in all raking in $4.5M in funding.
The principle behind Podio is that all work tasks, from expense reports to hiring, happen within the app — And unlike the more social networking focused collaboration platforms, on Podio, you don’t follow users but Spaces. To create a new Space on Podio, click on New Space, name the Space (TechCrunch, for example) and invite users. The service will monetize on a freemium, and is currently free for companies with 10 and under users. Look out Yammer – Podio emerges with full business social network. When Danish entrepreneur Tommy Ahlers sold his ‘social phonebook’ ZYB to Vodafone in 2008 for €31 million and joined the company, it didn’t seem like he would stay forever at such a slow-moving corporate entity. And sure enough he has now left. But ever the restless entrepreneur he’s decided against lying on a beach somewhere and careered headlong into a new startup which is poised to come out of stealth mode.
Ahlers has now invested in, and become the CEO, of Podio, a hot new startup out of his home town of Copenhagen. I’d heard excited whisperings of the company when I was in the city recently, and indeed, Podio has been around for one and a half years as a boostrapped project, but with big ideas. It’s now open via invitations – either from Podio or from existing users – and it’s pretty awesome. Podioʼs ʻsocial work platformʼ is best described as a Facebook for companies, but that doesn’t really do it justice.
Stack overflow. Mobile Messaging Startup Kik Raises $8M; Launches Group Chat And Photo Sharing. Soundcloud. I Can Has Funding: Cheezburger Raises $30M For LOLcats, FAIL Blog And Other Memes. Cheezburger, the internet publisher responsible for LOLcats, FAIL Blog, and other memes, has raised a whopping $30 million in new funding led by the Foundry Group with Madrona Venture Group, Avalon Ventures, and SoftBank Capital participating in the round. Brad Feld of Foundry Group, Greg Gottesman of Madrona Venture Group, and Rich Levandov of Avalon Ventures will be joining Cheezburger’s board of directors.
This latest investment brings the startup’s total funding to $32.5 million Founded in 2007 by former journalist Ben Huh, Cheezburger has grown from a small site to a network of fifty sites that have brought internet memes and tech culture mainstream. Cheezburger’s network of sites has a total user base of 16.5 million people who upload more than 500,000 pictures and videos as well as view 375 million pages and 110 million videos each month. Humor aside, Cheezburger success can be partly attributed to the fact that Huh is a savvy business man. Photo credit/Lolcats.
Chatroulette. Yammer. Appsfire Introduces Live Rankings For iPhone Apps, Scores More Cash. Mobile applications discovery and sharing service provider Appsfire has just launched a new product called AppTrends, which essentially delivers near real-time rankings of iPhone apps based on the chatter on Twitter. Rankings – currently limited to the top 20 apps on the website – are based on what Appsfire determines are noteworthy items in the App Store virtually in real-time. Appsfire crawls Twitter for links to iPhone apps, regardless of whether the iTunes URLs are shortened or not, and determines which apps are hot and which are not based on their popularity on the micro-sharing service.
To do so, Appsfire looks at the number of mentions of applications, all while filtering out bots, repeat tweets from the same users, updates from seemingly fake accounts and activity tweets such as leaderboard or points sharing. AppTrends gets updated on an hourly basis, and you can view evolution for the apps in the top list for the past hour, 12 hours or full day.
Meebo. Tumblr. Posterous. Video: Paper.li adds Guy Kawasaki to its advisors, as investor interest heats up. Since Paper.li quietly launched in May this year, it’s been building momentum. At first it seemed like a very simple Twitter app which just turned the feed from the people you follow into a rather neat newspaper-style site where you could peruse what was being shared. But coupled with an automatic virality, in that it would make your account tweet the user names name of the people featured in your ‘Paper’, the application has been taking off. Subsequently I have been hearing rumours that it’s traffic was exploding, thus attracting a lot interest from potential investors, although the company denies it is raising financing right now.
Today those rumours surface to some extent in the form of news, exlusive to us, that well known investor Guy Kawasaki has joined its advisory board. Similar to Twittertim.es, part of Paper.li’s appeal is that it presents the links shared in your feed in a highly digestible form, thus giving it quite a lot of mainstream appeal.
GetGlue. Echo. Echo, a comment platform with a strong focus on real-time, has launched the latest addition to its suite of products: the Real-Time River, which allows publishers to tie real-time comments directly into portions of their sites that are typically static. In particular, the new feature allows publishers to add comments to their homepages and ‘top news’ sections, which often feature just headlines and brief excerpts. You can get a feel for what this looks like on this demo page (an Echofied version of TechCrunch). Comments appear just beneath each excerpt, and flow in in real-time as they’re added to posts. Publishers can choose from a variety of display options: the comment count alone; the comments themselves, and/or other social signals like Diggs and tweets.
Echo says that the system supports comments that are entered via Disqus, WordPress, IntenseDebate, and any standard RSS feed of comments.
Seesmic. Dropbox. Flattr. Github. Shopkick Takes $15 Million From Greylock Partners – Reid Hoffman Loves This Company. Shopkick, a startup that’s focused on bridging the real world shopping experience with mobile, just closed a rather large $15 million round of funding from Greylock Partners. Partner Reid Hoffman, who is also an individual investor in the company, is already on the board of directors.
The company had previously raised $5 million from Hoffman and Kleiner Perkins Kaufield & Byers. Kleiner participated in this round of financing as well. We first covered Shopkick a year ago when it was deep in stealth. In December 2009 they launched a mobile application that let people check in to certain retailers for points that could be used for donations to worthy causes. But the “real” product of the company is yet to launch, says CEO Cyriac Roeding.
It’s been promised sometime this summer. I spoke to Hoffman about the company earlier today. This is a crowded space, but no one has won it yet.
Square. Hunch. Trefis. Stock analysis startup Trefis has raised $1.6 million on funding from Village Ventures. The startup had previously raised $550K in angel funding in 2008 led by Timothy Weller, CFO of Enernoc and former CFO of Akamai, Bob Johnson of the MIT corporation, and Semyon Dukach, former president of the MIT Blackjack team. Launched last fall, Trefis breaks down a stock price by the contribution of a company’s major products and businesses. The site lets you tweak your stock predictions by adjusting variables in a company’s business model, depending on how you think different segments of the company will perform. These predictions are plotted out on attractive interactive charts, which can also be embedded as widgets and shared.
The company is also launching a pro version of Trefis, which includes access to in-depth financial content for about 25 companies in the consumer sector (Example: Walmart, Coca Cola, P&G, McDonald’s, Starbucks, Ford etc.). Plancast Plans To Spread Throughout The Web With An API And Widg. Plancast, the social planning service created by TechCrunch alum Mark Hendrickson, is rich with data. It knows not only what you’re planning to do in the foreseeable future, but what your friends are planning, and what their friends are planning.
But all of this data has been trapped inside of Plancast. Not anymore. Today, the service is announcing its API. This gives developers the ability to build new apps using Plancast’s data — or to add that data to their existing apps. And the API is both read and write-enabled, so other services will be able to feed their data back into Plancast as well. Actually, the API work started out of necessity for Plancast. Currently the API only support basic authentication (username/password), but that’s because Hendrickson wants to enable OAuth 2.0 as soon as it’s ready. Alongside the API, Pancast is also launching its first widgets and buttons as yet another way to help seed its data around the web. Again, you can read all about Plancast’s API here.
Rdio. Quora. Formspring. SuperFeedr. Flipboard. Linkedin. Professional social network LinkedIn now has 70 million members, according to the company’s home page. The company hit 60 million users in February, and has been growing fast, especially in international markets. LinkedIn’s network’s CEO, Jeff Weiner, stated in a blog post last fall that half of LinkedIn’s membership is international. The company is also listing one million company profiles, which are similar to a user profile. Stumbleupon. Meebo. To most people, online chat service Meebo is best known for its multiprotocol webchat, but for over a year now its primary focus has been the Meebo Bar — a persistent toolbar that third party websites can embed on their pages to facilitate sharing through services like Facebook, Twitter, and email.
That bar now reaches nearly 150 million people per month through dozens of large third party integrations. Last week CEO Seth Sternberg swung by TechCrunch headquarters to discuss the current status of the Bar, and how it’s turning a single ad unit into some serious revenue. We last did a deep dive on the progress of the Meebo Bar in December, when Quantcast figures showed it reaching nearly 100 million unique visitors across Meebo partner sites. That number on Quantcast is now up to nearly 150 million, and since August, comScore says that Meebo’s uniques are up nearly 300%. A New Challenger Approaches Up until now, the Meebo Bar hasn’t had too much serious competition.
Startups. Wibya. Blekko. Hulu.